I like versatile recipes, such as this one. Many of the components in this recipe can be substituted with other items. Apricot jam can be replaced by orange marmalade or apple jelly. I guess you could even use grape jelly or plum jelly. Pork chops can be replaced by chicken breasts, thighs or legs, with or without bones. Mustard can be any type you like, or you could use horseradish. Use any combination of herbs that you happen to have, dry or fresh. Grapefruit could replace oranges, etcetera.
Substitutions allow this recipe to become whatever you want it to be, within reason. Just don’t lose sight of the concept of sweet and savory.
A sweet and savory dish should contain certain flavor elements. Choose a fruit that is sweet but also a little tart. Include herbs that are fragrant and rustic. Add something with a sharp, pungent flavor, like mustard, and you are on the right path.
Any time I use substitutions in a recipe I take a moment to consider if the various elements will be harmonious and, most importantly, I taste as I go. I will taste a sauce before adding it to the rest of the dish, even if that means cutting off a small piece of the cooked meat and dipping it in the sauce, to sample the flavor.
Juice from 2 oranges
2 Tbs apricot jam
1 Tbs Dijon mustard (or whole grain mustard)
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 Tbs cooking oil
1 Tbs butter
4 pork chops (boneless or with bones)
A pinch of salt and black pepper
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sage
1 onion, julienne cut
1 bell pepper, sliced thin
¼ cup orange zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Add orange juice, apricot jam, soy sauce, hot sauce and mustard to a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir to combine and keep stirring until it begins to bubble and boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Set sauce aside.
Heat a large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add two tablespoons of cooking oil to coat the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork chops. Add the pork chops to the hot pan. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Sear the chops on both sides until they are browned.
Add onion and bell pepper to the pan.
Squeeze the juice from one half orange over the pork chops.
Add the prepared sauce.
Add the herbs and spices.
Add the orange zest.
Mix to combine and simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes.
Bake in the oven at 425° for 10 minutes. (20 minutes if using bone-in chops)
Remove from the oven and add lemon juice.
Spoon cooked rice on a serving platter, leaving a well for the pork chops.
Arrange the pork chops on top of the rice and garnish with fresh rosemary.